Mentoring Program

IT Women Mentoring Program

The goal of the IT Women mentoring program is to promote the participation and leadership of women in the LACNIC community and the Internet ecosystem. 

The program seeks to encourage the professional development of women who are part of the technical Internet community of Latin America and Caribbean, particularly promoting their involvement in LACNIC's various participation spaces. 

Through an open call for applications, the program will select professional women with an interest in producing technical papers documenting various challenges, experiences, and solutions related to Internet stability and security. Selected participants will be assigned a leader of the community who will be their mentor and accompany them for a period of six months as they work on their papers.

What does the program offer?

Selected participants will receive mentoring for six months with the following benefits:

  1. Assignment of a leader of the technical community to serve as their mentor.
  2. The mentor's support in the following capacities:
    1. A tutor during the production of the technical paper;
    2. A coach during the preparation of presentations and the dissemination of the paper; and 
    3. Guidance regarding the participant's professional development. 
  3. The opportunity to present the results of their work in lightning talk format at LACNIC 37. 
  4. Access to training on: (a) professional development, and (b) effective presentations.
  5. Free access to the courses offered through LACNIC's Online Campus, including access to paid courses.
Who can apply?

The call is open to women with a technical profile who are based in Latin America and the Caribbean and who are interested in preparing a technical paper that will contribute to network deployment or management, or to the promotion of Internet standards adoption and deployment in the region. These papers may focus on the study of Internet technologies as well as on the documentation of technical implementations. 

Proposals should focus on areas that are relevant to the LACNIC community. Topics of interest include: 

  1. Operation of IP networks (success stories, best practices, etc.)
  2. Internet protocols (routing, switching, etc.)
  3. Domain Name System (DNS)
  4. Interconnection of autonomous systems (peering, IXPs, CDNs, etc.)
  5. IPv6: transition, deployment, advances
  6. Measurements, tools, and analysis of protocols and the Internet in general
  7. Security, mitigation of attacks
  8. Protocols and experiences related to the Internet of Things (IoT)
  9. Infrastructure and transport
  10. Value-added services such as VPNs, distributed systems, cloud computing, etc.
  11. Task programming and automation in networks and/or services

The women selected to participate in the program must be available to complete the mentoring process and the proposed technical papers within the six-month period defined for the collaboration. The program estimates that participants will have at least four meetings with their assigned mentors and will complete two soft skills trainings over the course of the six-month period, plus the time required to produce the paper.

In 2021, six women will be selected and have the chance to take advantage of this program.

Selection Process

The call for applications for the 2021 edition of the IT Women Mentoring Program is now open. Applications will be accepted from Wednesday, 29 September to Friday, 29 October 2021 at 23:59 UTC-3 (Uruguay time).

Applications must be submitted by completing the online form available at: The online application form includes information about the applicant's professional experience, as well as a description of the proposed technical paper. 

Applications will be evaluated by the program's selection committee, which is made up by three members of the LACNIC staff: Guillermo Cicileo, Head of Internet Infrastructure Research and Development; Graciela Martinez, Head of LACNIC CSIRT; and Laura Kaplan, Head of Development and Cooperation.

The following selection criteria will be considered: (a) applicants’ technical background; (b) proposed topics and their relevance to the LACNIC community; and (c) feasibility of preparing the proposed technical papers within the term of the mentoring program.

Selected participants will be announced on Thursday, 11 November 2021.

Process timeline

Applications will be received: from Monday, 29 September to Wednesday, 29 October 2021 at 23:59 (UTC-3).

Winners will be announced: Thursday, 11 November 2021.

Mentoring period: 16 November 2021 to 8 April 2022.

If you have any questions, please contact:

Meet the Participants Selected in the Previous Edition of the Program

Vanessa de Oliveira Mello, Brasil.

Mentor: Carlos M. Martinez

Vanessa currently works as a network and security engineer at a credit card acquisition company. She has three years of experience in telecommunications and ten years in IT. She has managed an autonomous system, performed datacenter migrations, and conducted traffic engineering and automation analyses with Ansible, shell script, and PHP. Her area of interest is the implementation of network automation in the region, and she worked on a paper titled “Network Automation: Idempotency in the Configuration of an AS.” In her application, she stressed that many hijacks are the result of configuration errors, and proposed providing network analysts with information about available automation tools and creating configuration templates in Ansible following best practices.

Sanie Elizabet Benitez, Paraguay.

Mentor: Max Larson Henry

Sanie works at UFINET Paraguay SA. She is a computer engineer with knowledge of the following protocols: L3 MPLS, BGP, RIP, VRRP, static route configuration, and clusters in Juniper. Sanie has experience handling port and IP address forwarding for NAT. Her proposal was titled “Enabling a New ASN and IPv4 and IPv6 Prefixes and Distributing them over a GPon Network.” Her goal was to study how providers can enable a new ASN and IPv4 and IPv6 prefixes, distribute the service on a LAN for clients with a GPON network and Internet access, and the possibility of enabling IPTV. 

Maria Jesus Cresci Barrientos, Uruguay.

Mentor: Marcela Orbiscay

María Jesús has a degree in Telematic Engineering from Universidad de Montevideo. Her areas of interest have to do with networking and the software integrated into these technologies, whether SDN or SD-WAN. She is particularly interested in the integration of infrastructure and software, and in researching this convergence that is taking place in different areas, such as equipment management, telemetry, software-based traffic control, IoT sensor data collection platforms, and others. Her research project is titled “Software Platforms and Protocols for Effective IoT Development.”  The study focuses on IoT and the network protocols necessary to connect devices in areas where there is no Internet coverage (for example, in rural areas) and where sensors need to be deployed to monitor property, livestock, environmental variables, and other applications. It addresses the feasibility of analyzing the strengths of the various protocols and the feasibility of using them to provide connectivity in remote areas, while also studying the appropriate functions and characteristics of a standard software platform to receive the variables collected by the sensors.

Yisel Elena Tamayo, Cuba

Mentor: Álvaro Retana

Yisel is a Computer Science Engineer. She is currently working as a systems and server administrator, and her tasks have to do with the deployment of cloud systems and solutions, as well as with the maintenance and monitoring of their infrastructure. Her proposed research was titled “Model for Availability Management and Control in the Automation of Technological Infrastructure Monitoring Processes.” This study offers the possibility of executing the IT management model in GSI, with the technological components showing a significant increase in time and/or availability rates.

Jacqueline Pereira da Silva, Brasil

Mentora: Wanda M. Pérez 

Jacqueline has a master’s degree in Electrical Energy Engineering, is currently Senior Network Analyst at RNP, the National Research and Education Network, where her work involves the design, installation, configuration, and operation of PoP-PR managed networks.  Her work was based on a case study titled “Implementation of BGP RPKI Architecture in a Juniper Environment in the UFPR ASN to Verify Its Efficiency in Mitigating Information Security Threats.” Focusing on the implementation of BGP RPKI on a Juniper ASN to assess the efficiency of threat mitigation, Jacqueline sought to create a model for the implementation of BGP RPKI in Internet systems using Juniper devices and making the resulting models and reports available to help other network operators, IXPs, and CDNs to improve their network security levels.

Dalia Kelly Terán Arévalo, Colombia

Mentora: Nathalia Sautchuk

Dalia has a degree in Electronics and Telecommunications Engineering. She has knowledge of, and experience in, managing IPv4 and IPv6 networks and services, IP addressing, network and information system security, as well as security protocols and mechanisms. Her research focused on network security and is titled “Analysis of IPv6 Information Network Security in a Virtualized Environment.” The project explored how to implement and analyze the security of an organization's IPv6 network, minimizing its exposure to attacks before putting it into production, and without affecting the network already in operation.